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Jan 2, 2017 4:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Civics Schedule 'Citizens Public Hearing' For Saturday On East Quogue Golf Resort Application

Jan 3, 2017 1:41 PM

Local civic leaders and environmentalists are hosting a special meeting—organizers are calling it a “citizens public hearing”—this Saturday morning in East Quogue to offer those opposed to a luxury golf resort targeting the hamlet additional time to voice their concerns about the project.

Hosted by the Southampton Water Protection Alliance, the gathering will begin at 10 a.m. at the East Quogue Elementary School on Central Avenue and is expected to run about two hours. Members of the alliance, who include representatives of the East Quogue Civic Association, the Long Island Pine Barrens Society and Group for the East End, scheduled this Saturday’s session to give locals extra time to speak on the application, a planned development district dubbed “The Hills at Southampton” that requires Southampton Town Board approval.

At two prior official public hearings on the project’s draft environmental impact statement, both held at the same school, town officials limited the public comment session to three minutes per person, citing the dozens of individuals who wanted to go on record about the application. Project opponents, including Richard Amper, president of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, have been critical of the town’s decision to impose a time limit, pointing out that representatives of the developer, Arizona-based Discovery Land Company, were given an hour to make their case at the first public hearing on the application.

“The public doesn’t have the same amount of time [to speak] at the town as the developer,” Mr. Amper said this week while explaining why the alliance scheduled its event just three days before the third of four official public hearings scheduled by the town on the project’s draft environmental impact statement.

However, Robert DeLuca, president of Group for the East End, and Lisa Liquori, a former planner for East Hampton Town hired by the Group, were given 20 minutes at the start of the second hearing, held last month, to present their own “as of right” proposal for the nearly 600 acres in East Quogue owned by Discovery Land. That proposal called for a mix of homes and an equestrian facility—but no golf course.

The town’s third hearing on the draft report will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 10, though this time the venue has been changed to Town Hall on Hampton Road in Southampton Village. Town officials have not yet announced a date or location for the fourth and final hearing.

In addition to Mr. DeLuca and Ms. Liquori, other scheduled speakers for Saturday’s event include Dr. Chris Gobler, a professor in Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences who also lives in East Quogue, and Jeffery Bragman, an East Hampton attorney who specializes in zoning and planning.

All comments made at Saturday’s event will be forwarded to the Town Board for recording as official comments on the project, which calls for the construction of 118 homes and an 18-hole golf course on 168 acres along Spinney Road in East Quogue. The land in question—the company owns nearly 600 acres and plans to preserve the other 430 acres—now carries 5-acre zoning, the strictest zoning in the town.

The draft environmental impact statement was deemed complete by the Town Board in September.

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Is it accurate to say the meeting is scheduled "to offer those opposed to a luxury golf resort targeting the hamlet additional time to voice their concerns about the project?" Does this mean that those with differing viewpoints are not welcome to speak?
By VOS (987), WHB on Jan 3, 17 2:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
I believe that would be accurate. If Mark Hissey were to walk in there he'd get tarred and feathered.

Mr. Deluca and Ms. Liquori are the 2 that redesigned the project as an "Equestrian Facility". This is the most asinine argument ever. Beside not owning the property, nor ever developing a high end destination resort, these 2 have no concept of the equestrian world. Maybe, if DLC pulls out, they could buy the property and implement their design...

This isn't a citizens meeting. ...more
By Draggerman (667), Southampton on Jan 3, 17 7:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
Again no mention of a large community center and event hall with underground parking for 130+ cars. Please edit your story for accuracy.
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Jan 3, 17 11:23 AM
1 member liked this comment
In keeping with the theme of the proponents of this subdivision, perhaps the Press feels that they have something to gain by omitting pertinent facts and showing their own bias in favor of this environmental nightmare. At what price progress?
By zappy (41), east quogue on Jan 3, 17 1:05 PM
This is the biggest open parcel left in Southampton Town where development isn't barred by Pine Barrens restrictions. It's a very big deal, and any gathering that affords an opportunity for people to be heard on it is a good thing. The very fact that the two previous Town Board hearings (in the current sequence) were packed and lasted about four hours each, nonstop input from both sides, demonstrates that there's ample reason for this January 7 hearing.

The venue's important, too. ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1740), Quiogue on Jan 3, 17 2:11 PM
In my opinion, this is a meeting to give those against the project a voice. We have heard enough from DLC and their proponents, most of whom were brought in from out of town. We have been bullied enough.
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Jan 4, 17 10:02 AM
I love it. Because of overwhelming turn out in support for the hills project from the local people in East Quogue Al Jezera decides to throw his own private hearing with the out of town opposition and 27east spins it like it's more than one local guy.
By Gillnetter (74), Hampton Bays on Jan 5, 17 6:48 PM
1 member liked this comment
Come on folks, get real. As reported in the piece, this meeting is an enterprise of the E Quogue Civic Assn., the Pine Barrens Society and the Group for the East End. Does anyone really think that pros like Dick Amper (Pine Barrens) and Bob DeLuca (Group) would be stooges for Al Algieri?

Even if Al Algieri were motivated the way some say he is -- which I doubt -- neither Amper nor DeLuca would tolerate the Orwellian scenario that's being mooted. I've personally observed them both in meetings ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1740), Quiogue on Jan 6, 17 11:57 AM
Come on folks, get real. As reported in the piece, this meeting is an enterprise of the E Quogue Civic Assn., the Pine Barrens Society and the Group for the East End. Does anyone really think that pros like Dick Amper (Pine Barrens) and Bob DeLuca (Group) would be stooges for Al Algieri?

Even if Al Algieri were motivated the way some say he is -- which I doubt -- neither Amper nor DeLuca would tolerate the Orwellian scenario that's being mooted. I've personally observed them both in meetings ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1740), Quiogue on Jan 6, 17 11:57 AM
Outstanding meeting. Around 100 people in a blizzard! Can't wait to have access to video for all interested parties who were not able to attend. See how much we learned in 1 1/2 hours! Too bad the Town Board did not allow the opposition to make these presentations at the official Town meetings.
By Taz (283), East Quogue on Jan 9, 17 10:49 AM
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